As I reported on plain-jane-ramblings, the ladies of CycleLife took to the hills of West Virginia as guests of Raw Talent Ranch. RTR, owned by local cycling magnate Jay Moglia, sits at about 2,700 feet right outside of Lost River State Park.
(no this isn't the Barn ... this is just a cool pic taken by Jason Merdhot)
While we were two ladies shy (Sara is in Brazil and Melanie was busy WINNING at the Fairhill CX race - check out Velonews.com),the remaining 4 members conquered the hills of W Va both on bikes and on foot with some help from Erik and a super-cool visit from rockstar and teammate Heidi Woolever (we've missed you!!)
Michelle, in preparation for a Marathon in less than a month, ran 20 miles on Saturday while the rest of us braved an amazingly difficult ascent back up to the Barn after about 3 hours of rolling hills.
(This is the ride profile provided by Leslie's hubby, who likes to play with his bike toys - Thanks, Erik !)
Its amazing - we've all discussed it and we have decided that every time we get to the Barn, its like the rest of the world disappears. Phone reception is spotty out there, TV is there but we never use it, wifi is available but we use it sparingly. We laugh alot, we cook lots of great food, we tease each other about our respective ipod playlists ... its a great time to bond and just "be".
Michelle, registering for the big Marathon, Paul getting directions for the upcoming ride and the rest of us enjoying some coffee and pancakes a la Jason - we'll be ready to roll in no time
Meanwhile, a few of the boys in attendance took a stroll out in the woods with Jay on mountainbikes.
After our respective rides (and Michelle's run), we enjoyed some chili prepared by Robin, a bonfire prepared by Jay, some of the awesome cookies and cupcakes prepared by Audrey and some moonshine - who knows where that came from !! Oh, and since we were celebrating birthdays (Michelle on Friday, Jason on Saturday), we had some brownies and ice cream... not to mention yummy s'mores. We're pretty sure Paul and Michelle got sunburned while trying to roast marshmallows for the group- way to take one for the team !
More pics and some more personal observations from the trip are over on Plain Jane's Ramblings ... suffice it to say, we'll be back soon - the training out there is phenomenal and the accomodations are perfect, but the company you choose to take with you will make the trip even better. Thanks, guys and gals, for a fun weekend.